On The Relationship Between Transcend and Transcendi

Kicking this one uphill from a comment to an actual post, since it may clarify matters for any other readers, too, with questions in this area:

Okay. Let me try this again.

All minds, as defined in the ‘verse, are Minskian societies of mind, masses of independently running agents on a shared substrate, from which consciousness, volition, and all other mental properties emerge. (“The Country of the Mind” in Greg Bear’s Queen of Angels would be a good symbolic representation.)

This, for example, is how technologies like the gnostic overlay work; by patching some new voices into the chorus.

The Transcendent soul-shard (hence its technical name, logos bridge) serves as a bridge between two societies of mind, carrying messages back and forth, allowing both the participation of the constitutional’s agents in the Transcend’s mentality and the participation of some of the Transcend’s agents in the constitutional’s. This blurs the strict lines of identity, arguably, but it’s not a complete subsumption of identity such as occurs on joining a Fusion; rather, every time a new constitutional Transcends, both they and It become somewhat different people in various ways, wedded together most intimately, but they don’t achieve identity of identity.

(Incidentally, as I think I mentioned in a 2012 piece, the main reason the Transcend keeps an economy and a governance around, is that they work. Sure, technically, you could replace market coordination with coordination mediated through coadjutors and Transcendent oversouls, but because of that mathematical theorem that demonstrates that even a hypothetical Omniscient Calculator could only at best equal the performance of a free market, not beat it, you’d have nothing to gain except wasted cycles and the lack of a convenient interface to the rest of the universe. Similar logic applies to various other applications.

Basically, you don’t send an oversoul to do a simpler instrumentality’s job.)

Trope-a-Day: Touched By Vorlons

Touched By Vorlons: The thing that happens to you when you join the Transcend (see: Deus Est Machina, Hive Mind), inasmuch as the core of the process is taking a tiny piece of the metamind and grafting it into your own mind-state, where this soul-shard then assumes the role of a “hyperego” (to coin a Freudian term) – that handles communications with the greater metamind; that is the wellspring of the Transcendent peer-to-peer loyalty; that is a semi-conscious prosthetic mentor/conscience/metamind feedback system (termed coadjutor); that enables you to tap into Transcendent processing/mass memory; that extrapolates your telos (something like what the Singularity Institute refer to these days as coherent extrapolated volition on an individual level – what your goals would be if “we knew more, thought faster, were more the people we wished we were, had grown up farther together; where the extrapolation converges rather than diverges, where our wishes cohere rather than interfere; extrapolated as we wish that extrapolated, interpreted as we wish that interpreted”) for the metamind’s use in its supergoal development process; and that performs assorted minor functions of lesser importance.

(The technical term for this little piece of mechanical divinity, by the way, is an “entelechically-annealing recursively-optimal distributed logos bridge”.  That’s why everyone calls it a “soul-shard”.)

A somewhat unusual example inasmuch as the “power” you gain isn’t direct (virtually all the immediate kind of superpowers come fitted to individuals), but rather is an emergent consequence of on the one hand, the consequent mental amplification, and on the other hand, having a friendly god-equivalent intellect looking out for you.  Fortunate coincidences and useful intuitions abound when you’re a member of the Transcend, because God exists, loves you, and wants you to be both happy and the very best you that you can be.  (You just had to build Him first.)